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Tuesday, December 16, 2008
FurcalAs a Braves fan, I'm not sure what to think about this. I like Furcal -- always did -- and if Wren is intent on giving up on Escobar to get some pitching, at least he's got a good glove to go along with that bat. If healthy, he's better than Escobar, and if healthy, he can help the Braves return to the playoffs. A place, I might add, they haven't been since Furcal left town the first time.
Thing is, I kind of like Escobar, and I hoped that he would be the shortstop for, oh, the next decade or so. There's something nice about watching a team win with players who were there when the team was losing. Yes, Furcal was originally a Braves product, but he left, and my feelings towards seeing him in a Braves uniform again will be much like my feelings upon seeing Glavine return last year. It's nice, but it's different, and it can never truly be the same.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 11:48am
Troy Patterson said...
Looks like they are sticking with Escobar and putting Furcal at 2B and moving Johnson to LF. Don’t know yet how good this is, but it is what it is i guess. Maybe trying to keep their trade value.
Posted 12/16 at 01:02 PM
Brandon Wexler said...
Let’s hope they’re able to flip Yunel Escobar. I’ve seen a couple reports (the murky mention of “sources” on matters like these always erks me) about the Braves possibly moving either Furcal or Escobar to second and slotting in Johnson in left. Putting the troubles of shifting positions aside, It’d be a waste to see either Furcal or Escobar at second while both of them can still handle short more than adequately, and I would not at all bet on Johnson’s bat holding up in left. I’m planning on Escobar getting shipped away (not a unique insight) pretty soon.
And Craig, didn’t Furcal have a DUI or two while in Atlanta? Interesting to see how even with a couple DUI charges against you you’re welcomed back with open arms, while a suspicion of steroid or amphetamine use leaves you ostracized because of your lack of moral values.
Posted 12/16 at 01:17 PM
Craig Calcaterra said...
My hope would be that, if the Braves are going to ship Escobar off in a deal for a pitcher that it’s Greinke instead of Peavy.
Not just the DUIs, but he lied about his age too! In both cases, however, the team pretty much got over it because, (a) Bobby Cox likes him; and (b) the guy can flat out pick it at shortstop. That gives you a lot of leeway.
As for steroids: My sense is that teams only pretend to be mad and then use it as political cover for turning a cold shoulder on a guy who is no longer productive. It’s the media that gets truly outraged at PED cases.
Posted 12/16 at 01:22 PM
Maybe trying to keep their trade value.
If Kelly Johnson ends up playing LF on Opening Day, I’ll eat my shorts.
The Braves were, at one time, willing to ship Escobar off to San Diego for an ace in his prime who’s signed to a reasonable long-term deal, but now that they’ve signed a viable replacement and missed out on AJ Burnett they’ve had a change of heart? I suppose it’s possible, but doesn’t it seem a little far-fetched?
Even if you believe that they want to hold onto Escobar, taking an above average offensive 2B and making him an average (at best) offensive LF doesn’t make much sense, either…especially considering Johnson hasn’t played LF since 2005.
I’ll go waaay out on a limb and say that Peavy should probably start shopping for homes in Atlanta.
Posted 12/16 at 01:35 PM
Alex K said...
I think we are all missing the real loser in this situation if Furcal moves to second….Casey Kotchman’s right hand. Think about catching the laser beams that Furcal throws at that short of a distance.
Posted 12/16 at 02:15 PM
Pete Toms said...
I think this is Wren’s plan, Furcal @ 2nd etc. Johnson is likely a stopgap, I think the Braves think that they have some OF coming from the minors, Hernandez, Schaefer, Heyward…
Posted 12/16 at 03:13 PM
Pete Toms said...
Forgot, anybody else surprised that Liberty Media is spending money this offseason? Furcal, and Vazquez ( which was all about taking on his salary ). Is this an example of revenue sharing? Are the Braves a taker now or still a giver?
Posted 12/16 at 03:16 PM
I think it’s a pretty good move to keep Escobar because of the tremendous depth it would give to the Braves infield, which they’ve lacked. If (when?) Chipper and Furcal go down at the same time, they’ll still be able to run out a decent infield, including a good shortstop. Also, I don’t think it’s fair to consider Kelly Johnson’s position relative to his effect on the lineup. The more accurate way to look at it is that Furcal would replace whoever the Braves had planned to play LF next year, a certain upgrade. Now, a platoon of Johnson and Diaz might not be that bad (couldn’t be much worse than the Braves’ outfield last year).
Posted 12/16 at 03:43 PM
While it’s nice to dream - isn’t that part of being a fan? - there’s no chance of getting Greinke, with or without Escobar in an offer. Not this offseason. The Braves have been lusting after him for years and it hasn’t happened. Dayton Moore wants to keep the best parts of his starting pitching. It’s time to get over it, give up and go on.
Posted 12/17 at 01:06 PM